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Canada's defence review draws many public comments

A US Air Force F-35A flies over the Toronto waterfront during the 2021 Canadian International Air Show. (US Air Force)

The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), which is reviewing its six-year-old defence policy, has received more than 1,500 public comments as part of the process, according to a DND spokesperson.

The DND is “taking into account these submissions in crafting” a defence policy update (DPU), the spokesperson told Janes on 8 June. The DPU “is currently under way and we look forward to releasing it in due course”.

The Canadian government announced in April 2022 that it was launching a defence policy review to determine whether the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is adequately sized, equipped, and funded in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Canada's current defence policy, titled ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged', was released in 2017.

As part of the review, members of the Canadian public had from 9 March to 30 April 2023 to submit their views. After the DPU is completed, the DND intends to publish a “summary of the themes and concepts that were heard”.

The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) has publicly released its submission, saying the DPU should commit to developing and growing the Canadian defence industrial base (DIB) through DND acquisitions and export sales support.

“The ultimate goal should be a larger domestic industry that is both sustainable and more capable of responding nimbly to the demands of the CAF and our allies,” CADSI president and CEO Christyn Cianfarani wrote. Achieving this goal will require “the establishment of a new, truly collaborative partnership between [the] DND and the Canadian DIB”, Cianfarani added.

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